Illustrative photo – Minister of Education Vladimír Balaš (STAN) in a picture from September 26, 2022.
Prague – Minister of Education Vladimír Balaš (STAN) wants to focus on the topic of using artificial intelligence in Czech schools. For example, the organization of a round table with experts is being considered. Aneta Lednová, spokeswoman for the Ministry of Education (MŠMT), told ČTK today. The issue of technology in education is now being discussed in the world, among other things, in connection with the introduction of the ChatGPT technology, which creates texts by itself according to simple instructions. Some people are concerned that a chatbot or other similar technology will write essays and term papers for schoolchildren and students.
ChatGPT is a chatbot launched in November 2022 by the American company OpenAI. Technology with the help of artificial intelligence creates texts according to simple instructions. Based on huge amounts of data, it learns like a human how to respond to users' challenges. In addition to the production of essays, recipes or more sophisticated searches, it can also help with programming, for example.
According to the spokesperson of the ministry, the goal of the department for the period between 2022 and 2024 is to equip pupils and schools with advanced digital technologies and make basic technologies available to all schoolchildren. “At the same time, we are also dedicated to the training of teachers so that this school equipment can be used effectively. The topic of artificial intelligence is largely related to this, because the effective and correct use of artificial intelligence tools is a basic prerequisite for the fact that they are not and will not be abused, ” she stated.
According to Lednová, the rules for the use of artificial intelligence tools in primary and secondary schools are set by the schools themselves in their school regulations. According to the chairman of the Union of School Associations of the Czech Republic – CZESHA, Jiří Zajíček, the form of examination of pupils prevents the abuse of chatbots in the Czech education system. Contrary to, for example, Anglo-American education, writing essays is not a common practice in Czech schools, pupils and students usually get grades from oral examinations or written papers and tests on paper, said ČTK.
For universities, the introduction of the ChatGPT application will be a challenge, to which they will have to respond, said the chairman of the Czech Rectors' Conference and Rector of Masaryk University in Brno, Martin Bareš. Representatives of the ministry expressed themselves similarly. “The Ministry of Education, Culture and Science must not interfere in the course of teaching at universities, but it is prepared to provide them with support in finding appropriate answers to the current challenges that universities face,” added Lednová.
For example, Charles University (UK), according to its spokesperson Václav Hájek has not yet recorded a case of misuse of artificial intelligence. However, according to UK representatives, the new applications will lead to a change in the forms of student testing. “Teachers will have to focus on an individual approach, discuss student work much more orally and demand professional contribution in the work of their students,” he says. According to Hájek, the university is not considering canceling final theses.